In the last days of his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI has written to Archbishop Vincent Nichols promising to pray for the Catholic faithful of England and Wales and expressing his thanks and gratitude for the support and prayers he has received since announcing his decision to resign.
His words came in a letter, written by Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu, the current Substitute for General Affairs to the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, penned in response to Archbishop Nichols’ letter to the Holy Father thanking him for his Apostolic Ministry as Supreme Pontiff and saluting his courage and integrity at stepping down from the See of Peter.
Pope Benedict also wrote of his warm memories of his historic State Visit to the UK in 2010 and the “many graces received during those four days.”
From the Vatican, 20 February 2013
His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has received the letter that you sent to him on behalf of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales on the occasion of his resignation from office, and he has asked me to reply in his name.
He appreciates the sentiments that you expressed and he is grateful for the support of your prayers. He recalls with gratitude the welcome extended to him on his historic visit to your country in September 2010, and he continues to give thanks to God for the many graces received during those four days.
His Holiness promises to pray for all of you and for the people entrusted to your pastoral care, and he willingly imparts his Apostolic Blessing.
Yours sincerely in Christ,
+ Angelo Becciu